Energy Guides: Electricity and Gas must reads

Whether you're trying to get your head around complex electricity tariffs, find a better gas plan or switch energy providers Mozo's range of energy guides can help. Alternatively, if you are looking to save money on your electricity bill or improve the energy efficiency of your home, head on over to our energy savings tips section for ideas.

Explainer: Energy regulation in Australia

Explainer: Energy regulation in Australia

Whether or not you like to keep up with international news, it would have been hard to miss what went down in Texas last week. But just in case you haven’t, the US state was randomly hit with a massive cold snap, now recognised as ‘the big freeze’. As a result, power plants were frozen, cutting off electricity supply to many households. Texas has a highly deregulated energy market, where customers choose their electricity provider between a set of scores. And many of these retailers charge electricity at wholesale prices that fluctuate in sync with demand. So, once the ‘big freeze hit’, households who had access to electricity found themselves with energy bills that were hitting $US1,000 a day ($1,289 AUD).How did this happen you may be asking? Well, many experts are arguing poor preparation and planning on behalf of the retailers. While Australia doesn’t get snow storms, you might be wondering what energy regulation looks like in your state and whether something like the Texas big freeze could occur down under. So without further ado, check out our guide to understanding energy regulation.

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Energy guide: The lowdown on ‘wholesale demand response’

Energy guide: The lowdown on ‘wholesale demand response’

Managing demand while keeping energy prices low has been an ongoing issue for the national energy market (NEM) over the years. In August last year, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) proposed a new scheme that had the potential to tackle both concerns, called the ‘wholesale demand response’. 

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Energy rebates guide for residents in TAS

Energy rebates guide for residents in TAS

From young families to retirees, no Tasmanian household is the same. But if there’s one thing some of us might have in common, it’s keeping up with soaring energy bills. And if this is a familiar feeling in your home, it could be worth looking into government energy rebates to help you manage your expenses. 

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Energy savers: A guide to energy concessions in SA

Energy savers: A guide to energy concessions in SA

Staying on top of your finances can be a common struggle for many Aussie households. If you’re in South Australia and keeping up with your energy bills is causing ongoing financial stress, it could be worth looking into the energy concessions that are offered in your state.

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Your guide to energy rebates in NSW

Your guide to energy rebates in NSW

We all need a little bit of help every now and then, even when it comes to our energy bills. And while your energy provider can provide financial assistance by placing you on a financial hardship plan, it’s generally a temporary measure until you get back on your feet. 

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What you need to know about switching gas providers

What you need to know about switching gas providers

Gas prices around Australia have been on the rise and if you’re looking to save on your household bills, switching gas suppliers could be a great way to getting some extra cash for life’s more enjoyable things like a night out at the movies or dinner out with the family.

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Why is my energy bill so high? 

Why is my energy bill so high? 

While reading your latest energy bill, did you experience any of the following symptoms — Confusion? Heart palpitations? Cold sweating? Anger? If so, you have suffered a classic case of bill shock, otherwise known as the negative reaction you get when you receive a bill that is unexpectedly high. And unfortunately, there has been a dramatic increase in cases of bill shock in Australia.

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Renewable energy faqs

Renewable energy faqs

Renewable energy continues to develop, reworked and expanded everyday. From large-scale government investments to smart bins, there’s not one area renewable energy hasn’t touched. 

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How does solar energy work

How does solar energy work

As of 2018, more than two million Aussie households have solar panels installed in their home, making it a more common way to source residential electricity. If you think your household might make the solar switch, there are a few things you’ll need to get your head around. 

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What is energy bill smoothing?

What is energy bill smoothing?

No one wants to experience bill shock but everyone knows that there are times of the year (e.g. Summer and Winter) when your gas and electricity bills are going to be higher than at other times of the year. Many people choose to set aside extra money for their energy bills in these peak times, but for some people on a fixed income finding an extra $50 or $100 isn’t so easy.

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How to complain to your energy provider

How to complain to your energy provider

In an ideal world, it’s possible that you and your energy provider have a great relationship and you never need to register a complaint. But, just in case there is trouble in paradise, it’s a good idea to know how to complain to your energy retailer.

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Feed in tariffs

Feed in tariffs

If you are building a new home or thinking about installing a solar system on your existing property, you’ll need to get your head around solar and renewable energy FAQ. A useful term to begin with is feed-in tariff. This is the rate paid for the electricity that is pumped back into the power grid from a designated renewable energy source like your rooftop solar panel system.

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Smart meters 101 - What you need to know

Smart meters 101 - What you need to know

Have you been wondering what a smart meter really is and how it can impact your electricity bills? While it may seem a bit confusing at first, smart meter technology is actually quite useful and can help you manage your energy account better. In this digital meter guide, Mozo answers some of the frequently asked questions about the technology so you can understand exactly what to expect from a digital billing cycle.

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What to look for when switching electricity providers

What to look for when switching electricity providers

Have you just received your electricity bill and decided it was time you switched electricity companies? You’re not alone. Thousands of Australians fight back against rising electricity bills each year by comparing the electricity plans available in their area and switching to save money.

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How to switch energy providers in Australia

How to switch energy providers in Australia

Here in Australia, unfortunately there isn’t one standard price for energy across the country so finding the best energy deal can be difficult (or at least very time consuming) as you need to compare hundreds of plans from the energy providers that service your area. How much your electricity and gas services will cost depends on a number of things from where you live to the type of meter you’ve got installed at your premises.

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How to set up your electricity when moving house

How to set up your electricity when moving house

Moving into a new house can be a coordination nightmare with all the different things you need to take care of simultaneously. From finding the perfect house in the perfect location, booking a removal company, packing up your things, cancelling services at your old address, setting up connections at the new address.

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Energy Made Easy Guide

Energy Made Easy Guide

These days, you can barely get through the day without hearing about aging power plants and sky-high electricity bills. While the Turnbull government is doing its bit to ensure that we all get a better electricity deal by making energy providers now tell us when that great deal we signed up to 12 months ago expires, we could still all do with a quick refresher on electricity plan basics.

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A beginner's guide to different energy plans and products

A beginner's guide to different energy plans and products

Energy plans are like shoes. One type doesn’t fit all. Just because something works for your neighbours, doesn’t mean it would for you too. That’s why, it’s important to understand which electricity and gas products are available and find the ones that are best suited to your home.

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Renters guide to switching energy plans

Renters guide to switching energy plans

If you’re living in a rental property or you are about to move into a new rental pad and aren’t sure if you can switch to that awesome cheap energy deal you just saw online, you’ve reached the right place. In this tell-all guide, the Mozo energy experts address some of the most common questions about switching electricity and gas plans for rented accommodation.    

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Home battery storage

Home battery storage

According to the Clean Energy Council, more than 2 million Australian households use solar energy to power their homes. And as renewable energy continues to grow in popularity, it’s almost certain the number of solar installations is also set to climb. 

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Energy news

The solar glitch aussie households need to know about

The solar glitch Aussie households need to know about

Various solar rebates and schemes have helped thousands of Aussie households turn their green energy dreams into reality, and it’s helping boost renewable energy production big time. According to solar-focused search engine bidmysolar, one-fifth of Australia’s clean energy is generated from small-scale solar systems.One scheme that’s increasingly popular amongst Aussie homeowners is the federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Under this scheme, small-scale technology certificates (STC) are generated for every kilowatt of panels installed. The number of certificates produced per system depends on its geographical location, installation date and the amount of electricity generated, which can mean a rebate worth thousands of dollars. Regardless of the system’s efficiency, the rebate per panel remains the same, prompting Aussies to purchase less reliable and cheaper systems. As a result, electricity generation and consumption are disrupted. “Quality solar will pay for itself within three to four years and last for 15 to 25 years. Comparably, cheap solar often fails within 12 to 36 months and underperforms by as much as 60% annually,” founder of bidmysolar, Bernie Kelly told Mozo. “Cheap solar is undeniably expensive solar, because not only have you invested in a system that fails but you also continue to have sizable power bills and if you decide to reinvest in a new system, the output of those costs too.” Further research from bidmysolar revealed that one in six solar systems across the country developed a major fault or stopped working altogether, with cheaper models often losing more than 20% of their output capacity within just five years. “The government incentive programme for solar has created an environment for unreliable solar operators to thrive. Cheap, underperforming and failing solar has been dumped into the Australian market,” says Kelly. It’s forecasted that more than 400,000 applications for the STC’s by the Clean Energy Regulator will be made this year. To prevent more solar hiccups for the average household, Kelly shared with Mozo his top three tips for finding a top of the line solar system. “The most important issue for consumers is to never rush in, avoid all the sales hype, and know that prices do not swing wildly from day to day or month to month,” he said. “Avoid wherever possible, finance promising interest-free, no money down. Instead, talk to your bank and use their Green Loan initiatives or a fit for purpose solar loan.“Always stick to the facts, if anybody makes a statement regarding quality and performance, have them explain the position with some science attached. Question everything which is stated verbally and have a salesperson commit to writing what they have said.“Find an independent solar advisor who is not conflicted by sales commissions or benefits, like selling your personal details to multiple solar companies.” Despite its popularity, solar power remains a mystery for many Aussies, so if you’d like to learn more about how solar energy works, have a read of our handy guide.

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Aussie households could be missing out on 900 million in electricity bill savings

Aussie households could be missing out on $900 million in electricity bill savings

New figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have revealed that electricity prices have fallen by 9% since the middle of last year. As a result, thousands of households across eastern and southern states now have the potential to collectively save $900 million by making the switch to a better offer. According to ACCC Chair, Rod Sims the reason for the decline in prices was due to an increase in power generation, specifically renewable energy generation and falling fuel costs. “There are two ways that households and small businesses can get the hip-pocket benefit of recent reductions in retailers’ costs: by changing to a new, cheaper plan; or, by waiting for their retailer to lower the rates on the plan that they’re already on,” he said. Under a new law that was passed in June 2020, called the Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct (PEMM) law, electricity retailers are now required to make adjustments to their pricing in line with the cost of them to obtain electricity. And if you’ve been keeping up with energy market movements as of late, you’ll know that wholesale electricity prices have been on the decline since mid-2020. “We also expect further significant price reductions from retailers over time, as the reductions in wholesale spot prices flow through to retailers’ contracting positions,” said Sims. Victorians have the biggest potential savings of between $171 and $198 a year, as the state’s flat offer prices have reduced by 11% to 14%. This is followed by South-East Queensland ($126), South Australia ($118), New South Wales ($80 - $88) and the Australian Capital Territory ($46). Although Sims explained the ACCC will be investigating as to whether electricity retailers are following PEMM law, he encouraged Aussies to shop around to secure further savings on their annual bill. So if you think you could be getting a better deal on your electricity bill, why not take our energy comparison tool for a spin? It can help you compare some of the electricity plans available in your area.

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Solar battery installations on the rise despite lack of government help

Solar battery installations on the rise despite lack of government help

Although the Covid-19 pandemic may have put a damper on potential international travel, it hasn’t slowed down Aussies from reaching their green energy goals. Research from solar analytics group, SunWiz finds that Aussie households had more than 31,000 solar energy batteries installed in 2020, an increase of 20% from 2019. What’s more impressive is that sub-100W solar panel installations have grown by 39% year-on-year. “In 2020 Australians continued to demonstrate a desire to reduce their power bills by making the most of the nation’s abundant and cheap solar power and empower themselves with a battery,” said SunWiz managing director, Warwick Johnston. “It was a surprisingly good year.”Unsurprisingly, South Australia led the way for solar battery installations, with just over a quarter of installations occurring in that state. According to Johnston, this influx may be linked to the state’s solar battery subsidy program. “There is such high demand from [South Australian] homeowners that the state government had to reduce its subsidy to avoid overheating the market and exhausting available government funds too quickly,” he said. SunWiz estimates that the uptake for solar batteries will continue to soar, with the analytics group forecasting an additional 33,000 installations this year alone.

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Victorian government to impose an electric vehicle tax for drivers

Victorian government to impose an electric vehicle tax for drivers

Following new legislation introduced last week, Victoria is about to become the first state in Australia to impose a tax on electric vehicles (EVs) and other zero-emission vehicles. The new tax is set to come into effect on July 1 and will cost EV owners 2.5 cents per kilometre and two cents per kilometre for hybrid vehicles. It’s estimated that the total cost for EV owners will be up to $300 every year at registration time. Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas explained that the decision to introduce the tax on EVs was to ensure that all Victorian drivers were treated equally while creating a sustainable road network. "We are providing confidence to new electric vehicle owners with a massive boost to our charging network, funded by the distance-based charge, which will reduce range anxiety as a key barrier to take-up," he said.However, not everyone is on board with the new initiative, Greens MP, Sam Hibbins said the argument for the EV tax was not justifiable and was nothing more than a “tax grab by the government”.

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